5 Realistic Ways to Defeat Anxiety
If anxiety is present in your life on a regular basis, developing coping strategies is important for moving forward. Here are some ways to begin to master your anxiety:
1. Manage Your Thoughts
The worst kinds of anxieties and fears are the ones we create for ourselves. Awareness is the first step. Learn to be an objective observer of your thoughts so they stop controlling you. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a technique that can help you begin to modify negative thoughts and decrease anxiety.
2. Take a Deep Breath
The way we breathe is strongly linked to the way we feel. When we are calm we breathe slowly, and when we are anxious we breathe more quickly. Implementing techniques such as relaxed breathing and progressive muscle relaxation can bring you back to the present moment and moderate feelings of anxiousness and panic.
3. Set Aside Worry Time
Designate a period of time every day where you can let your anxiety run free and rampant. Choose a set time and place for worrying. Make it the same time and location every day and early enough that it won’t make you anxious right before bedtime. During your worry period, you’re allowed to worry about whatever’s on your mind. The rest of the day, however, is a worry-free zone.
4. Challenge Your Thoughts
When we are anxious, we tend to view the world as a scary and threatening place. Our thoughts cause us to react as if there is a real danger which escalates our anxiety. Replacing anxious, negative thinking with realistic thinking is another effective strategy in managing anxiety. Begin to question if your fears are rooted in reality or stemming from faulty thought patterns.
5. Accept Your Anxiety
Resisting your anxiety only magnifies it. Realizing anxiety is a feeling like any other feeling can help you start to accept it and move past it. Acceptance is important because trying to eliminate it only reinforces the idea it is intolerable. Learning to tolerate uncertainty and discomfort can go a long way to minimizing anxiety in your life.